Pre-inquest hearing due into death of Novichok poisoning victim Dawn Sturgess

Dawn Sturgess

A pre-inquest review is due to take place into the death of Dawn Sturgess.

The 44-year-old collapsed at her partner Charlie Rowley's home in Amesbury on June 30 2018, after unwittingly spraying herself with the nerve agent Novichok.

She died in hospital on July 8, while Mr Rowley, who initially found the "perfume" and gave it to Ms Sturgess, was left seriously ill but recovered.

Charles Rowley and partner Dawn Sturgess were exposed to nerve-agent novichok. Credit: Facebook

Ms Sturgess's death followed a chemical attack on former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, who were found unconscious on a park bench eight miles away in Salisbury four months earlier.

Independent investigator the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons later confirmed that the toxic chemical which killed Ms Sturgess was the same nerve agent as that which poisoned the Skripals.

Former appeal court judge Baroness Hallett will use the hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice to examine the scope of the inquest, among other things.

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with Novichok in Salisbury in 2018.

Police said there was enough evidence to charge two Russians, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, with offences including conspiracy to murder over the attack.

The pair later gave a much-derided interview for state television in which they claimed they were only in Salisbury for a sightseeing tour of the cathedral.

Russia repeatedly denied any involvement, with President Vladimir Putin claiming the two suspects were merely civilians, not military officers.

The poisonings caused widespread fear across Salisbury and further increased tensions between Westminster and the Kremlin.

No date has yet been set for the full inquest on Ms Sturgess.